Flyers Prospects Mailbag: The Flyers in Five Years

NHL: NHL Draft
June 23, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Morgan Frost poses for photos after being selected as the number twenty-seven overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

We have a wide range of questions in this week’s Flyers Prospects Mailbag. Yes, we still have the questions devoted to Morgan Frost and his future, however, we also explore new topics like what the team will look like in five years.

Let’s get the party started!

We better see him on the Flyers next season! Morgan Frost has absolutely lit the Ontario Hockey League on fire these past two years and it’d be a shame to have him anywhere else but the National Hockey League next year. Assuming that Nolan Patrick takes the necessary steps in his progression to man the 2C role, Frost will center the third line to start off the 2019-20 regular season. If Chuck Fletcher deems it necessary to bring in another center via trade or free agency, it would not be crazy to see Frost play on the wing to start the year.

Felix Sandstrom is progressing quite nicely playing for HV71 in the SHL this season. He’s seen improvements to both his save percentage and goals against average since last season and just appears more confident in net. A little while back, Chuck Fletcher mentioned that he intends on bringing Felix Sandstrom to North America next season, along with Kirill Ustimenko. Sandstrom is already on his entry-level contract so I expect him to be tending goal for Lehigh Valley next season. Philadelphia has a few really good goalie prospects, but Sandstrom will certainly be in contention for one day backing up Carter Hart in the NHL.

Great question, Brandon. Looking at the current prospects in the farm system now, the Flyers have the potential of being a very skilled hockey team in five years. Just Morgan Frost alone will bring loads of skill, however, he’s not the only one. Expect the likes of Isaac Ratcliffe, Matt Strome, German Rubtsov, and Joel Farabee to add to the skill factor as well. With that skill, I can certainly see the team being a high-scoring squad too. Especially if the scoring trends in the NHL continue to move in the same direction. Additionally, the Flyers have the potential to be a fast team. Prospects such as Jay O’Brien will help make that a reality. Also, speed is such an area of focus these days that Philadelphia will always look to add more to its ranks.

Of the four areas mentioned above, I think the Flyers five years from now will lack toughness. This is not to say that there will not be any on the team. I just feel that the league, in general, is gradually moving away from an emphasis on that area. Of course, the players will still lay every out on the line every game. I just don’t see too much scrapping in the game five years from now.

I’m not really sure why but I have a gut feeling that Joel Farabee will not go pro next season and spend one more year with Boston University. If my gut is wrong, I still think he spends most of next season, if not all, in Lehigh Valley. When Farabee reaches Philadelphia, he certainly will have the capability of scoring 20-plus goals for the Flyers. I think between 20 and 30 goals a season is a realistic range for him.

As I mentioned before, I believe that Morgan Frost will make the Flyers out of camp next season. In his first few seasons with the Flyers, Frost will most likely get most of his points through his playmaking ability and assists. Eventually, I think he can turn into a 30-plus goal scorer in the NHL.

A prospect I am high on in terms of goal scoring is Isaac Ratcliffe. He has recorded over 40 goals in the OHL for the second year in a row and has the potential to top 50 this season. It’s amazing how smooth he can play considering his size. It will take some time for his game to translate to the professional level but he has the potential to become an effective goal scorer for Philadelphia.

I am very high on him too. I do believe that he will begin next season in Lehigh Valley. However, I would not rule out the Flyers calling Isaac Ratcliffe up at some point in the year. We have to keep in mind that a call up not only depends on Ratcliffe’s performance but whether there is room for him on the NHL roster as well.

The last I heard about Kirill Ustimenko coming over to North America was when Chuck Fletcher mentioned he wanted him here next season. Right now Ustimenko is focused on protecting his net, however, one would imagine he’d be all for joining the Flyers organization next season. Count on him to share the crease with Felix Sandstrom in Lehigh Valley next season.

Great question! Any of the players in the CHL can join the Phantoms for the playoffs after their season concludes. Of course that does not mean that all of them will. I can see Lehigh Valley adding Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, Matt Strome, and either Wyatte Wylie or Yegor Zamula to their roster. For the most part, their roles would be limitted and it would be all about the experience. Still, I would not count out Frost making an immediate impact on the team. In regards to the prospects playing in Europe, the list of players that could potentially join the Phantoms is far less extensive. To be honest, I think only Felix Sandstrom comes over.

Thank you so much to all of the people who provided questions for Flyers Prospects Mailbag! If you missed out this week, keep an eye on Twitter for my next request for your prospect questions.

Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports